Facebook Photo Of Child Holding Rifle Leads To Alleged Late Night Raid On New Jersey Home

jerseygun2-225x300Shawn Moore is a certified firearms instructor for the National Rifle Association and a New Jersey hunter education instructor. He was proud of his son for recently passing his hunter’s permit course and posted this picture of his boy in camouflage holding his .22 rifle. A Facebook “friend” saw the picture and reported him to the New Jersey police and Dept. of Children and Families for child endangerment. Moore says that his home was raided, searched, and he was threatened with the loss of custody in response to the complaint.

While not commenting on the alleged raid, Department Spokesperson Kristen Brown said. “We are required to follow up on every single allegation that comes into the central registry.” That is a bit surprising if the allegation describes lawful conduct. Children are allowed to hunt in New Jersey. I had assumed that there was some screening that occurs. Moreover, I am not sure why there is no intermediate step short of the search of the home.

Moore says that he received an text message from his wife that the Carneys Point Police Dept. and the New Jersey Dept. of Children and Families were at the home demanding to see his guns and gun safe. The officers were told by his lawyer to leave the home absent a warrant. He says that that officers responded that the demand for them to get a warrant was “suspicious” behavior. If true, that would be highly abusive and unconstitutional. A citizen invoking their rights does not create reasonable suspicion, let alone probable cause. While the officers said that they would get a warrant, he says that they never returned.

It does strike me as odd that anyone can trigger such an action based on a photo that does not show any illegal action or conduct that is demonstrably dangerous in a state where children are allowed to hunt and shoot such weapons.

What do you think?

Source: Yahoo

171 thoughts on “Facebook Photo Of Child Holding Rifle Leads To Alleged Late Night Raid On New Jersey Home”

  1. lol . . . which is oddly enough exactly what The Economist article you pointed to talks about. 😀

  2. mespo,

    Yes. I’ve been following that whole line of stories. In fact, I’ve been considering doing a story on it. It may have reached an apex where such a story might even be appropriate as one of the providers of blueprints for such guns – Defense Distributed – has gone so far in the regulatory battle as to get a traditional ATF manufacturing permit. The consensus seems to be that until a major crime is committed with a printed gun that its all up in the air vis a vis regulation.

  3. OS/junctionshamus,

    Thanks for the input.

    As for retrofitting existing guns? Eh, I’m pretty sure that’s right out. It would require some major retooling of the firing mechanisms. Not impossible, but impractical to be sure. On the other issues? I simply view those as engineering challenges. And RFID is not the only cat in that bag. Simple thumbprint readers built in to the grip come to mind or voice locks. I recall a sci-fi example in the rather kitchy but underrated “Lost in Space” movie where the guns could be unlocked for a single user or all users by voice command. However, the battery life issue is legitimate. Whatever it would be, it would have to be low powered, but the good news is that chips are becoming more power efficient (and powerful) every day. That’s why an iPhone fits in your pocket instead of in a desktop box. Still, I don’t think we’ve seen a technological problem that is incapable of solution even if difficult. I also don’t see cost as too much of a barrier except from maybe small time manufactures or custom boutiques. I’m sure whatever system devised that is practical could be bought in scale by a company like S&W or Colt or Ruger in large enough quantity to drive the price down. Besides, I honestly think a gun that “only fires for you” would be a hit with the home defense/survivalist types. That’s why I’d accept Bob’s apology for knocking me over on the way in the store. 😀 That and he’s armed.

  4. Gene – I’d be the guy apologizing for knocking you over, trying to get one before the store ran out. And I’d be apologizing again, b/c I ran back home to get the non-RFID guns retrofitted (if possible).

    I don’t know the “readable distance” for those devices. In junctionshamus’ world, I’d like them to be useful enough that if I had to switch grips from left to right, the reader could recognize the ring when my left hand is outside my right, but not so far in range that if I’m disarmed in a struggle, I’m not shot with it.

    Now the downside – (1) battery failure (default for dead batter should be firing mode – you can change them like you do batteries on your smoke detector), (2) RFID can be jammed, accidentally or on purpose, and unfortunately, the “gub’ment” is big on RFID technology. It would be nice if a user could re-key the RFID code from the factory setting.

    Darren, who would be a great source, got so flustered that he left the thread. Hopefully I can draw him back.

    Hope I was helpful.


  5. Gene,
    The technology is there, but I can foresee problems. First, guns work on purely mechanical principles instead of electronics. Building an electromechanical interface into something like a revolver would be an engineering nightmare. Another factor would be reliability. We all know how reliability can be a problem with computers, electronic door locks and automobiles. RFID chips are sensitive to heat, electromagnetic fields and can’t get wet. If any law enforcement officer or homeowner is looking down the barrel of a bad guy’s shotgun, they want to know their own gun will work, and work every time.

    The additional cost of such technology would certainly not be cheap. I have built revolvers from scratch and know what is involved mechanically. I cannot envision any way to retrofit existing firearms.

    The two somewhat light-hearted videos below are part of a promotional campaign by Glock. They feature former Marine DI and Gunnery Sergeant-turned-actor, R. Lee Ermey. The reason I post these is because I wanted you to note the small hidden gun safe, and how quickly and easily it operates. Those are available with a choice of fingerprint recognition or keypad code. Note there are ridges in the keypad so the fingers are positioned to fall perfectly on the keys. It can be opened quickly in total darkness with no fumbling.


  6. junctionshamus,

    You know I’m pro-2nd, but you mentioned gun locks. I’m also a big proponent of forcing the gun industry to make a safer product, such as guns with built-in locks or electronic fire control systems. I saw one proposed in a science magazine that really liked – it coupled a ring with RFID tech in it with a reader in the handle and the weapon would only fire for someone wearing the appropriate matched ring. I’d like to know your (and others) thoughts on that kind of safety measures.

  7. Student brings loaded gun to middle school
    Dec 07, 2012

    DALLAS –

    A student brought a loaded gun to Kennedy-Curry Middle School in Dallas this week. Many parents are now concerned about their children’s safety.

    The Dallas Independent School District said the sixth grader had a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol in his backpack. It was secured without incident and he was removed from campus.

    The school does require students to have clear or mesh backpacks, but the weapon wasn’t noticed until other students told a campus police officer.

    “For a sixth grader to bring a gun to school, it just kind of makes you question as to what we are going through now,” said Christopher Bloomer, a parent. “I mean, you’re just out of elementary school and you’re bringing a gun to school. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”

    Darlene Bustos is a Dallas County juvenile probation officer whose younger brother attends Kennedy-Curry. She thinks the school needs metal detectors.

  8. here is another:

    Apex child, 4, shot in the leg

    Posted: Mar 14, 2013 2:43 PM EDT Updated: Mar 15, 2013 1:08 PM EDT

    By WNCN Staff

    APEX, N.C. –
    Apex police responded to a call reporting a child being shot Thursday afternoon.

    According to Apex Police, when officers arrived at the scene on Scott’s Ridge Trail, they found a 4-year-old boy shot in the lower leg.

    Christopher Hamby, a family friend, left a loaded firearm in the unlocked glove box of his vehicle. The victim and his 3-year-old brother were allowed to play in the car while the boy’s mother and Hamby were inside the home.

    The victim retrieved the gun from the glove box and shot himself in the leg.

    The driver of the car was not the father. The driver of the car will not be charged because general statute is that only a parent or legal guardian can be charged.

    The child was transported to the hospital by ambulance for treatment.

    So an adult leaves the gun in the glove compartment, a child is injured but because not the parent no charges, how asinine is that?

    Ann Stephens with the Apex Police Department confirmed that the child is still in the hospital but will be OK.

  9. 7-year-old brings loaded gun to school


    Ross Elementary teachers were urged to keep their students inside their classrooms after receiving a tip that a student brought a loaded firearm to school on Wednesday, a district spokeswoman said.

    The school was put under lockdown at around 10:30-11 a.m.

    A police investigation revealed a 7-year-old student was in possession of a loaded gun and brought the gun to school on Tuesday.

    Police officers arrived at the school, located at 4890 Ross Road, at around noon Wednesday after the school went under lockdown. A school officer told the police that school officers who were told of several students were passing around the loaded gun on Tuesday.

    Police spokeswoman Alyssa Moore said the loaded gun was passed around at least eight students. The students were all boys ranging in age between 7 and 10.

    A 10-year-old student was reportedly the last student to be in possession of the loaded gun and he was arrested.

    Though no students or teachers were injured, a FOX13 News source said the child originally with the loaded gun threatened to shoot any children who told teachers about it.

    Read more: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/21416988/elementary-student-had-loaded-firearm#ixzz2OCWot24R

  10. Elaine,

    With Repect to the Michigan one… It’s very sad, no depression, drug use etc…. A note was found in he pocket… Not sure what was in it… But the kid had a 40 caliber Glock….

  11. Elaine – just down the block from me (30 miles away, 50 is considered “around the corner”). And I see nothing wrong with someone being cited for leaving a handgun out where a child could get to it. That’s the “personal responsibility of handgun ownership. Here’s the follow-up from the Delta County Independent:

    The report of a student bringing a loaded handgun to Delta Middle School stunned parents last week.

    The incident occurred on March 13, and illustrated the importance of encouraging kids to contact someone in authority if they encounter situations they believe to be potentially dangerous.

    “Students are our best advocates,” said assistant superintendent Kurt Clay last week. He explained the handgun was discovered by two students, one in high school and one in middle school. They took the handgun to their house and turned it over to an adult. When school administrators learned of the incident they immediately called 911.

    Officers from the Delta Police Department retrieved the loaded handgun from that house and placed the unidentified juvenile student in protective custody. Chief Robert Thomas said the juvenile was cooperative. At no time did the student threaten or injure anyone with the weapon, and DMS students and staff were never at risk. Clay said he has not yet learned why the student brought the gun to school.

    The Delta Police Department issued a child abuse summons to the handgun owner. Clay said disciplinary action was taken against the student. Both Clay and Thomas declined to provide any more details.

    A letter was distributed to DMS parents in which Clay said, “Even though there were no threats, we are pleased to tell you that our staff and students acted immediately and implemented our procedures to keep everyone safe. We believe our students are our best resource and in this case it proves true. Our students initially recovered the firearm, gave it to an adult and notified the administration about what had occurred. Please help us by talking to your student about who to talk to and what to do if they are ever presented with this type of situation. It is extremely important that this type of information be reported to the proper authorities to ensure everyone’s safety.”

    Delta Police Chief Robert Thomas pleads with the community, specifically handgun owners, to be responsible by securing their weapons in a gun safe or gun box, or securing their weapons with a gun cable or safety trigger lock. “A tragic event or loss of life involving guns can be avoided if we work together as a community to make gun safety a priority in our homes,” Chief Thomas said.

    The Delta Police Department has gun safety locks available for City of Delta residents. The locks are available during regular business hours.

    Now THAT’s the way we do business in Western Colorado.

  12. Arthur: the child welfare worker has to testify in court accoding to our Constitution if any charges were filed by the way.

    Yes, they do, and such testimony could be damaging to an actual violent parent, don’t you agree? And if the parent is actually violent, then using the name of the CPS worker to find out where she (or he) lives, he might decide to stalk, threaten, kill or beat up the CPS worker to prevent her from testifying, or stalk and threaten her children, or an elderly mother she cares for, or whatever. Don’t you agree?

    As others have noted above, there is a requirement to provide some kind of identification that allows the citizen to uniquely identify the particular CPS worker IF charges are filed or they wish to file a lawsuit. That does not mean the CPS worker’s full name; which between public records and the Internet might as well mean their home address.

    IF the case goes to court, then the CPS worker might have to reveal her name. But at that point the risk of being intimidated into not testifying, or not bringing charges, is over. She risks revenge, and that is part of the job, but I think that is a lesser risk than when the criminal thinks they might still escape trial altogether.

    1. sorry tony c but this is true of ALL witnesses and I fail to see that government officials are more valuable and privileged that the rest of us. In fact, that is a problem in many neighborhoods with gangs and other organized crime. So if the ordinary citizen is subject to being threatened for being a witness, I think the same goes for government employees., apart from undercover or secret informers.

  13. Police: Moore student brought loaded gun to school
    Incident happened at Sky Ranch Elementary School
    Mar 04, 2013

    MOORE, Okla. —Oklahoma City police say a student brought a loaded gun to a Moore school Monday.

    A 12-year-old sixth-grade student at Sky Ranch Elementary School, located at 9501 S. Western Ave., brought a loaded .45 semi-automatic pistol onto school grounds, according to officers.

    Investigators said the student was showing off the gun in a bathroom at the school. One of the students in the bathroom became concerned and called a parent who alerted police

  14. Authorities Respond to Loaded Handgun Brought to School
    by Jim Daly
    by Kristina Kuestner
    Story Created: Mar 14, 2013

    DELTA, Co.- Delta police respond to Delta Middle School Wednesday regarding a loaded handgun allegedly being brought to school.

    The officers retrieved the loaded handgun at a location off school property. The cooperative juvenile student who possessed the handgun was placed into protective custody without further incident.

    Delta Middle School students were not threatened with the handgun nor were any students injured.

    Police issued a “child abuse” summons to the handgun owner.

    Delta Police Chief Robert Thomas says he’s pleading with the community, specifally handgun owners to be responsible by securing their weapons in a gun safe, gun box, or to secure their weapon with a safety trigger lock.

    Police issued a “child abuse” summons to the handgun owner.

  15. Middle School Suicide Of 8th Grade Student Reported At Davidson Middle School In Southgate, Michigan
    Posted: 03/21/2013

    An eighth-grade student brought a gun to school on Thursday and committed suicide, according to officials.

    Fire department officials told reporters that the student died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, reportedly in a bathroom, at the Southgate school early Thursday morning.

  16. junctionshamus,

    Do you know what the actual complaint was?

    How would a child welfare agency go about corroborating an accusation of child abuse or neglect?

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